Witnesses could not even identify the four, but this was immaterial to the judge. ‘You opposed the ANC and therefore you are guilty’, is the message from the courts.
On the 21st April 2015 the court in Sebokeng sentenced four community activists from Boiketlong to a total of 16 years in prison. The activists are: Dinah Makheta, Sipho Mangane, Dan Molefe and Pulane Mahlangu (in absentia). We call for the immediate and unconditional release and dropping of charges against all 4. Key witnesses could not even identify the 4 but this was immaterial to the judge, ‘you opposed the ANC and therefore you are guilty’, is the message from the courts. This marks a new stage in the desperation of imperialism to control the masses- the same dropping of the democratic mask of the state and the criminalization of protest, is seen across Africa, from Cape to Cairo. Special fascist gangs such as the Chrysalis black shirts are springing up like mushrooms. The fascist attacks on immigrant poor are also similar signs of desperation by imperialism to use terror and force to attempt to break the resistance of the masses.
The community of Boiketlong has long suffered from broken promises of the ANC government. Since the elections in 2006, the ANC has come with empty promises to upgrade the area that by then had already long suffered a lack of sanitation, lack of water, lack of electricity and lack of housing. The 4 are part of the collective leadership, assigned by the community to lead their struggle for houses. This is their only ‘crime’.
The ANC government claims that there is a lack of resources and has even gone on the offensive by cutting pensions in real terms (recently giving a 4% ‘increase’ which is a cut of at least 2% in real terms), even wanting to give public sector workers an ‘increase’ of 4,8%.
The SACP are the main theoretical wing of the ANC govt who claim that we have much to be thankful for, that at least we have had so many ‘gains’ over the past 21 years, that at least we have ‘peace’.
In reality, the capitalists have had peace to make unprecedented profits, that have accelerated to a greater level than was ever dreamed of in the days of apartheid.
It is reported in the Journal of Southern African Studies that the mining giants have accelerated their theft through transfer pricing after 1994 to such an extent that in 2007 alone about R600bn was taken out by imperialism through illegal means. The amounts that imperialism has stolen over the years is in the order of trillions of dollars, and this is from SA alone. If the entire Africa is also considered, we are looking at several trillions of dollars stolen by imperialism.
Yet, across Africa, all the regimes, without exception, turn a blind eye to this and are instruments of keeping the masses in check while imperialist plunder continues.
SA and Africa has enough wealth to meet all our needs, with decent housing, free education, free, quality health care, decent jobs for all. Yet everywhere there is poverty and suffering and only the imperialists and their paid hirelings benefit. Indeed, SA has enough wealth to care for the whole of Southern Africa, but it is a giant prison for the masses of Southern Africa.
Boiketlong is a symbol of the capitalist injustice that there is. The imperialist who plunder and steal and cause the early death of millions, get off scot free. The masses and anyone who dares raise a question, are brutalised and suppressed.
There should have been houses and proper facilities in Boiketlong but instead it is a slum. It is being kept a slum by the ANC govt. That is why the 4 comrades were jailed because they dared to challenge the slum conditions.
The SA govt dares to blame the other African regimes for their ‘nationals’ coming to SA. The very same imperialism that plunders SA, also plunders Africa. All these regimes are responsible for the enforced poverty of the African masses. The SA govt has more blood on its hands. In the DRC imperialism funds the wars that have killed 6-10 million people. After the lands are cleared and imperialism opens up its mining operations for Cassiterite (raw material for cell phones, tablets playstations and laptops- 70% of the world’s reserves are there) it is SA soldiers that are a free security force for the plunder. Each soldier is paid R50 000 a month for this work of protecting Anglo American from the starving masses in the DRC.
The spread of HIV-Aids in SA, according to credible research reports, was largely due to the collapse of the health system which led to the re-use of infected needles, among other unsanitary practices. Thanks to the ANC govt.
Yes, a lot of dwellings have been built but most of them are in the old group areas. In other words, the ANC govt perpetuated apartheid housing policies.
There is enough wealth for jobs for all, but due to the theft that the ANC (and DA) govts allow, there is mass unemployment and starvation everywhere.
This is not peace but a sustained civil war against the masses which the ANC has continued from the old NP apartheid regime.
We call for activists to work together to form a revolutionary working class party, in every part of Africa and the world. One of the problems of 1994 was the presence of the counter-revolutionary SACP that led the struggle into a dead-end. We need to draw the lesson. Freedom will not fall from the sky. The working class needs to be organised. We need to tear down the artificial barriers that separate us.
We announce today a national and international programme of action against the criminalization of protest, for the freeing of the 4 Boiketlong activists. The same fate awaits other activists if we leave the state unchallenged on this. We call for letters of protest to [email][email protected] , [email][email protected] , [email][email protected] (please cc all letters to [email][email protected] )and mobilisation of mass action on a wide scale, let us protest and use what channels are available to us. We appeal also to the honest activists in the ANC to also take up this struggle. Further details will be released soon.
Free the Boikeltong 4!